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There is no such thing as a "routine traffic stop," and what happened to Marion County Sheriff's Deputy Anthony Rakes in the early morning hours of Wednesday, Nov. 14, is a tragic example.
Kentucky State Police continue to investigate the shooting death of Deputy Rakes, which occurred at approximately 2 a.m., Wednesday, right outside of the city limits on Danville Highway.
The incident occurred when Deputy Rakes, 31, initiated a traffic stop on a 2007 KIA. According to KSP Public Affairs Officer Billy Gregory, Rakes' shift was ending and he was driving eastbound on US 68 toward his home on Buffalo Road when he saw a car stopped in the westbound lane. Rakes reported the vehicle to Lebanon Police Dispatch, turned around and parked behind the vehicle. Rakes gave the license plate number to dispatch, got out of his vehicle and the next thing he said was, "shots fired."
Marion County EMS responded and transported Deputy Rakes to Spring View Hospital where he died in surgery.
Preliminary autopsy results indicate that Rakes died from injuries sustained from two gunshot wounds located in the abdomen and upper torso area. A final autopsy report will be released at a later date.
The suspect, Dewayne Shipp, 49, of McDaniels was later arrested behind McDonald's in Campbellsville by Kentucky State Police and officers from the Campbellsville Police Department. Shipp was initially transported to Taylor County Hospital for a leg injury. He was later transported to University Hospital in Louisville, where he was treated for a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the leg, according to Kentucky State Police. It is unknown when he sustained the wound.
Shipp has been indicted for murder for Rakes' death, and he has been transferred to the infirmary at the Kentucky State Reformatory.
Rakes was a six-year veteran of the Marion County Sheriff's Department and was the department's firearms instructor.
Marion County Sheriff Jimmy Clements said he and his staff are heartbroken.
"I don't know if you can ever prepare for something like this," Clements said. "I never envisioned this happening to one of my guys."
Clements said Deputy Rakes was a good-tempered, easy-going guy who got along well with everybody.
"Anthony was just a mild-mannered, cool guy. He had a good temperament about him," Clements said. "This job tests your nerves a lot and Anthony was very good at not letting things really bother him when people tried to push his buttons in bad situations. He could just get along with people really well."
Clements said Rakes loved being a law enforcement officer.
"He absolutely loved it," he said.
Clements said he was at home when he heard Rakes on the police radio stop to check on the vehicle.
"The next thing I heard was 'shots fired,'" Clements said. "The world changed then."
Rakes was not wearing his bulletproof vest, which wasn't mandatory, according to Clements.
"We don't have a mandatory vest policy," he said. "At one point, he was very religious about wearing his vest. At some point in time he got to where he wasn't. That was a choice he made."
But, even if he had been wearing his vest, Clements said he doesn't think that would have made much of a difference.
"From all indications, even if he had a vest on, it doesn't look like he would have survived," Clements said.
Clements asked for the community to pray for Rakes' family and friends and the sheriff's office during the coming days.
"The community lost a good servant and a fine person overall," he said. "Keep our law enforcement community in your prayers and realize that there are dangers out there that not everyone sees. It's unfortunate that a good man lost his life serving the community he really loved."
Rakes also worked for LPD
Before becoming a deputy, Rakes had worked two years at the Lebanon Police Department.
Major Greg Young said Rakes was an extremely nice, laid back guy. In fact, he was such a nice guy that even people he arrested wouldn't be upset with him, Young said.
"He believed in treating everybody like he would want to be treated," he said.
Rakes' desire to help others was undoubtedly the reason he stopped to check on the vehicle that was stopped on US 68 last week.
A traffic stop that would tragically be his last.
"This is a prime example of how quick something can go wrong," Young said. "You think it never happens in small towns but it just goes to show you that it can happen anywhere."